Transforming Public Transportation

US Cities transportation system

Public transportation systems, regardless of any particular city, not only help the commuters to move around but also help to move a city forward. Nobody likes to wait in the traffic and thus, it can be assumed that if those drivers are given a better alternative, they may willingly hop on-board. Undeniably, the alternative is public transportation that includes subway systems, buses, commuter trains, street cars etc. When it comes to the U.S., it’s a well-known fact that, in general, the country has a poor public transportation system. People don’t like to ride buses or commuter trains because of the popular perception that says both of these modes are slow often. If you’re thinking of streetcars as an alternative to bus or train, the proliferation of private vehicles keeps on obstructing them from running efficiently.

In the U.S., public transportations are often seen as benefitting the low-income populations only. Another key reason that refrains this facility from being widely used is the lack of proper implementation. It’s a fact that in sprawling suburbs particularly, improper implementation doesn’t offer vehicle owners any reason to use public transportation.

While most U.S. cities fall well short of having an ideal public transportation system, there’re some cities where the scenarios are steadily improving, thanks to the adoption of high-end digital technologies.

U.S. cities that are improving the public transportation system

While none of the following cities have been able to make a perfect public transportation system, they’ve surely improved it a lot. Let’s have a look at the public transportation systems of five U.S. cities to get a clear understanding.

Sacramento

Though electric vehicles have created headlines in recent years, they still have a major issue in terms of infrastructure – lack of adequate charging stations may leave the drivers stranded between nowhere. In Sacramento, a new Green City program seeks to bring these vehicles to the streets and develop a significant number of electric transit options and chargers to support them. This $44 million program seems to be able to improve the electric vehicle infrastructure of the city radically with hundreds of vehicles, charging stations, and buses. By offering more adaptable infrastructure, the program hopes to create a perfect template for other cities to plug in.

 

Gainesville

People often assume that high-tech innovations can only take place in so-called tech centers. It’s also frequently assumed that notable advancements in autonomous vehicles only happen in high-tech cities. But Gainesville, a Florida city, has become one of the prominent places experimenting with autonomous, driverless shuttles, operating on fixed routes. In partnership with Transdev, a mobility operator, and the University of Florida, Gainesville will operate four different shuttles through the downtown as part of its three-year pilot, all for free to residents.

 

Los Angeles

As the state continues to reduce its carbon emissions, the city has made a commitment toward the greener environment as well. The initiative to implement a huge vehicle fleet with cleaner-running, quieter electric models will not only improve the public transportation system and help develop charging infrastructure, but the save the city money also.

 

Santa Monica

In Santa Monica, a different vehicle has started dominating the road – electric scooters. Bird, a multibillion-dollar transit startup, claims that these scooters are a convenient, innovative, and more sustainable alternative to last-mile travel. Being easy-to-operate vehicles, they’re also pretty fun to ride. Early reactions from the riders of these scooters suggest the service is catching on. With their slim profiles and the ability to lock and unlock with the help of an app, these dockless vehicles are steadily becoming a preferred option to many people. Apart from launching a pilot program recently, the city has also utilised operator fees to invest in transit infrastructure and new bike lanes. By inviting both Lyft and Uber to take part in the dockless vehicles pilot program, Santa Monica now offers one of the largest ranges of car-free transit options in the U.S.

 

Micro transit: The rise of a new concept

Micro transit is the next big transportation breakthrough and refers to services which function like Lyftline or UberPool but with minibuses or large vans instead of SUVs and sedans. With the help of mobile apps and algorithms to match travelers making similar trips, micro transit has become a more cost-effective way to offer services in some regions than fixed-route buses. This facility combines the convenience of a frequent bus with the familiarity of a vehicle. In cities, where people mainly use private cars to commute, micro transit seems to be an easier transition into public transit.

Micro transit may hold a place in a city’s public transportation system, but so far it remains as a very small niche, much like an app-enabled version of the dial-a-ride service. It may not be the large-scale substitute for other prominent public transportation modes but it’ll surely contribute heavily toward improving the overall landscape of a city’s public transportation system.